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Koolance EXOS Al Koolance CPU-300-V10 Water Block: We take look at Koolance's latest water block, and test it against some of the best blocks we have.
Date: March 19, 2004
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:


Although air-cooling is still viable for the majority of users, water cooling has jumped by leaps and bounds, especially in this past year thanks to a few companies offering turnkey solutions. No longer restricted to hardcore enthusiasts, water cooling has become easier to acquire and setup. Granted, it is still more complicated to setup than air coolers, but the payoff is usually better performance, and lower noise levels.

A few weeks ago, we took a look at the Koolance Exos-Al. Compared to all the water cooling kits we've used up to now, the Exos-Al is by far the easiest to setup. Performance was quite good as well, considering that the Exos and the water blocks we received used 3/8" OD (outer diameter) tubing. Typically, smaller tubes mean less performance, but the Exos-Al was a good balance.

Though the Exos-Al was the star of that review, the CPU-300-H06 water block played a strong supporting role. As we mentioned earlier, that water block uses 3/8" OD (1/4" ID) hoses and is designed for all the various Koolance systems. The CPU-300-V10, which we'll be looking at today, uses 1/2" OD (3/8" ID) hoses and is more suited for DIY systems.

Specifications

Model CPU-300-V10
Tubing Size (ID) 3/8", 10mm
Compatibility - Intel Pentium-4 socket 478
- Intel P-4 Xeon socket 603/604 (with adapter)
- Intel P-III & Celeron socket 370
- AMD Athlon XP & Duron socket 462
- AMD Opteron & Athlon 64 FX socket 940 (with adapter)
- AMD Athlon 64 socket 754 (with adapter)
Weight 11 ounces (312g)
Dimensions
WxHxD
2.5" x 3" x 1.8" (6.4cm x 7.6cm x 4.5cm)
Base Materials Pure Copper, 21k Gold Plated

The Koolance CPU-300-V10 Water Block

The new CPU-300 series of blocks are a substantial upgrade from their previous series. The new blocks are bigger, and are capable of dissipating up to 300W of heat (100W more than before). In case you're wondering, the "300" in the CPU-300 is the rated heat dissipation output. The base itself is made up of a near-transparent orange shell, and a 21 karat plated copper base.

There are a number of "maze pins" inside the water blocks. These pins will create turbulance which will improve performance of the water blocks.

Though the core design of the CPU-300-V10 is the same is the same as the CPU-300-H06, the one obvious difference is the orientation of the hose fittings, which are perpendicular to the base (vertical), rather than being parallel (horizontal).

One big change from the previous Koolance block is crimps are no longer used to secure the hoses, but instead, we have twist-on metal fittings. This will make installation much easier, and through testing, we found their new tool-less connections to be quite secure.

On top of the CPU block, there is a metal bar with three indents. These indents are for the retention screw for the block, and depending on the CPU, you'll need to align the appropriate screw with the indents. Pentium 4 owners would use the center one, whereas Athlon users will use either of the other two.

Removing the packaging sticker will reveal the base. We were quite impressed with the quality of the base, as it is visibly flat and polished to a mirror shine. Of course, no two blocks are alike, and it is always a good idea to verify with a mock install with thermal paste.

There are two recessed areas on either side of the center, near the edge of the block. If your cooling kit has a temperature probe and display, you can place it here.

The CPU-300-V10 includes a number of accessories to install the water block to your setup. We'll outline the parts more closely during the installation portion of the review, but the block is universal and tool-less. Both AMD's XP and 64, as well as Intel's Socket-478 and 370 are covered. The Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron/FX-51 can also use this block with separate adapters.

We didn't receive any special instructions, but one thing to point out is the blue topped retention screw is for an AMD XP or Intel PIII install. The black topped retention screw is for processors with heat spreaders. These screws differ in that each will apply a certain amount of pressure depending on which one you use. The black one puts a lot more pressure than the blue one, so make sure you use the right one for your CPU.

Installation

Installation mirrors that of the CPU-300-H06, with the exception of the larger hoses and alignment. Other than a knife to cut the hoses, the installation of the CPU-300-V10 is completely tool-less. We'll be covering a Pentium 4 installation today, but for Athlon XP owners, you can refer to this review.

Start by installing the CPU into the socket, and applying a thin layer of thermal paste. If your case, or water cooling kit has a thermal probe, be sure to tape that with the included metalic tape into the recessed areas on the base of the water block. Place the block on top of the CPU, and use the mounting bracket and retention screw to secure the water block. As soon as you hear a couple clicks, that means there is enough force being applied.

Thread the hose through the the metal fittings, which will need to be removed fromt he water block. Push the hose into the inlet or outlet, and screw the metal fittings in. This will create a tight seal. Hook up the rest of your kit, and you're done. Though Koolance doesn't specify which hose is to be the inlet or outlet, with our setup, the right-side connection is our inlet.

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